English cleric and writer Charles Colton said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” In this high-tech culture Colton’s aphorism might be updated to “Fidelity is the sincerest form of flattery.” Running into those true believers who use, love and cannot help but spread the word about Logos Bible Software is always flattering.
Meet Carl Bosma, ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in North America, church planter, leadership developer with Christian Reformed World Missions, Professor of Biblical studies at Seminario Presbiteriano do Sul, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, Th.D. candidate and Logos Bible Software user. In fact, Mr. Bosma wrote a very thorough and impressive manual for Libronix 3.0 that, although Logos wasn’t affiliated with, those of us who have perused it were very impressed.
I touched base with Prof. Bosma recently to get more information about this huge project:
The medicinal benefits of laughing are well documented:
A good, strong laugh provides a heart rate increase equal to 15 minutes of biking
Laughter decreases stress and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease
Laughing helps to deepen breathing, improving respiration
A hearty laugh relieves tension, reduces stress and can leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes
It leaves one to wonder why, if there are so many advantages to laughing, is there so little levity in the Scriptures? Any physical benefits of laughing were designed and hardwired into us by the Creator himself, so would it be so difficult for him to tell a casual joke? To use the periodic pun? To exchange the occasional bon mot?
An article in Bible Study Magazine suggests that perhaps He did. Samuel Lamerson, Dean of
Faculty and Associate Professor of New Testament at Knox Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, proposes that perhaps the disconnect between us and the funnier comments and stories Jesus told is cultural—maybe we just don’t understand what they would have found funny in Palestine 2,000 years ago. He also suggests that perhaps we just don’t like the idea of a jovial Jesus and prefer to picture our Savior as a “man of many sorrows, acquainted with grief.” Lamerson walks us through some examples of stories Jesus told which his listeners would have found humor in, showing that Jesus may have been a little more wry than we would typically admit.
Bible Study Magazine provides many previews of these kinds of amazing articles, as well as interactive tools to accompany many of the articles in print. But subscribing today is the only way to ensure you don’t miss a single issue.
We are gearing up for BibleTech 2010, which will be held in San Jose, CA, March 26–27. BibleTech is our annual conference which focuses on the many ways technology is affecting and being affected by how we translate, interpret, communicate and transmit the Scriptures. This isn’t just a great opportunity to hear speakers address many of the tech savvy issues that are important to you, but also a chance to interact and network with some of the leaders in their fields and others who share your interests. I just spoke to one of last year’s presenters yesterday and he was mentioning the relationships that he has developed through his involvement in BibleTech.
San Jose, CA
This year we are moving the conference into the heart of Silicon Valley. It only seems appropriate that BibleTech should be held in a city like San Jose, CA, just a stone’s throw from such important hi-tech institutions as Intel and Google.
Calling all presenters!
We are putting out a call for programmers, publishers, tagging experts, information/library scientists, technologists, thought leaders, design gurus, information architects, webmasters, ,mash-up creators or anyone working at the intersection of the Bible and technology to lead conference sessions and roundtable discussions! It is as easy as going to the BibleTech 2010 website and filling out the participation form. We get a lot of entries and we encourage you to be as descriptive as possible when sharing your ideas for topics and content.
Register before November 30 at $139.95 and save $40. With our tiered pricing, the earlier you sign up for Bibletech, the more you save. Lock in the lowest price today!
Sometimes I find myself feeling chagrined when I am making a large purchase and the clerk offers to let me buy the extended warranty plan. Her company will stand behind the product they are selling me if I pay them to do so, otherwise I am on my own. There is nothing like that feeling of paying for the security that should be the hallmark of every good business transaction. Oh . . . word to the wise, go ahead and get that extended warranty for any Xbox 360 purchases; you don’t have to thank me.
Sadly, having to pay for indemnity is quickly becoming the standard in the software industry. If you look at the user agreements for most of the software you use, you are prompted to buy, at an average of about $10.00, the privilege of downloading the software you have already purchased beyond a thirty to sixty day window. What that means is this: if you have purchased and downloaded that great anti-virus software, you have a one year subscription, but if after sixty days your hard drive crashes you have to pay to download the software again in order to use the service you paid for the rest of the year.
Logos bucks this trend. In a resounding act of industry integrity, Logos tells you, the end-user, that the license that you have paid for belongs to you. With your license, all downloads and unlocked items are backed up in our servers for FREE! That’s right, gratis. You bought it, it’s yours. If your computer crashes, when you finally upgrade from that laptop you bought in 2002, or if you just can’t find the discs so you can reinstall your Scholar’s Library Logos has all of your licenses saved on their servers. How cool is that? It is pretty nice when your initial purchase with a company comes bundled with the protection that you deserve.
Jonathan Edwards was born to Timothy and Esther Edwards on October 5th, 306 years ago. In the 55 years that followed, he pastored in Northampton, Massachusetts, played a role in the Great Awakening, wrote many highly influential books, papers and sermons, and became president of what would later become Princeton University.
One would find it difficult to over-emphasize the influence that Jonathan Edwards has had in Christian theology, philosophy and practice. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy called Edwards, “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian.” Perry Miller, founder of the Yale edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, described Edwards as the first and greatest American philosopher. In Edward’s works, Perry suggests the reader “discovers an intelligence which, as much as Emerson’s, Melville’s, or Mark Twain’s, is both an index of American society and a comment upon it.”
I personally discovered Edwards in John Piper’s ECPA Gold Medallion winning book God’s Passion for His Glory. In the first half of this life-affecting book, Piper introduced me to Jonathan Edwards and his theological perspective. One could not find a more passionate apologist for Edwards than John Piper. Piper has said, “Jonathan Edwards is in a class by himself in American history, perhaps in the history of Christendom . . .” The second half of God’s Passion for His Glory featured Edward’s essay The End for Which God Created the World in its entirety, along with notes and commentary by Piper. It was not the easiest read by any stretch of the imagination but, like any good work out, I finished it tired and exhilarated. Soon I was devouring everything I could find by and about America’s theologian.
In 1758, Edwards died from the complications of a new and controversial smallpox vaccine. He chose to get the inoculation in order to encourage others to do the same during a smallpox epidemic striking New Jersey at the time. He left behind 11 children and his dear wife Sarah. Beyond his academic legacy, a twentieth century reporter looked into Edward’s 1400 descendants and found they included 13 college presidents, 100 lawyers, 66 doctors, 65 university professors, 2 university deans, and 80 holders of public office, including 3 senators, 3 state governors and Vice President Aaron Burr.
As a celebration of this life well-lived and Edwards’ incredible legacy, we at Logos would like to offer the following special from October 5th through October 12th:
Exegetical preaching has always been my Achilles heel, not because it is so difficult, but because I wanted to present the Scriptures in a way that was the most advantageous for the people in my care. One of the issues that I always struggled with was how easy it was for people to read a couple verses or chapters a day in their Bibles and never understand how those verses and chapters fit into the context of the epistle, gospel, or narrative from whence they came.
In our Christian sub-culture sometimes we, unintentionally, present things in ways that are counter-intuitive to our desired goals. If our goal is Scriptural understanding and fidelity, we need to be wary of presenting the Scriptures as stand-alone aphorisms. While making us more familiar with some Scripture, presenting the Bible in little, isolated parcels can easily lead us away from the authors intended point.
Christopher R. Smith’s article Chapter & Verses: Who Needs Them? in a recent issue of Bible Study Magazine is a fabulous reminder of not only how God breathed and divinely prepared the Scriptures are, but also how useful breaking up the Scriptures into chapters and verses has been for us. It is nice to also be reminded that, as useful as this delineation of the Bible into chapter and verse may be, we may in fact be doing the Word a disservice by feeling beholden to it. Sometimes it may be more important to be mindful of the authors natural structure.
I have a subscribed to many Christian periodicals over the years, and obviously some have been better than others. But I have to say, I have yet to pick up an issue of Bible Study Magazine that I haven’t found encouraging and edifying.
For some reason, the Gospel of Luke really resonates with me. I so easily identify with the structure, language, and style of Luke’s Gospel above the others. In fact, when I look back on my years in the pastorate, my fondest memories come from the years that I preached exegetically through this Gospel.
Logos Bible Software played a huge part in developing that series for me but I wish I had access at the time to the Product Guide on Luke which compiles all the titles we currently sell on Luke’s Gospel.
Just to throw in my own $.02, one of my favorite resources for Luke was The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Luke, by Darrell L. Bock. Not an overly large commentary for the size of Luke’s Gospel, but a very good exposition from a commentator with a strong Luke/Acts background, and writes from a real pastoral center.
The wonderful thing about the Product Guide on Luke is that it lets you peruse the whole gamut of resources we have available on Luke. If there is something that you feel is missing that we definitely should have, drop us a line at email@example.com and let us know.
If you ever watched The Tonight Show with Jay Leno you will remember a segment called “Jaywalking.” It was a pretty simple concept: have a camera man follow Jay around and ask random people some, not so obscure, questions about history, geography, and important current events. Jay ends up with great exchanges like this one:
JAY: What is the opening line of the Bible? PERSON: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
If you ignore the fact that this 5 minute segment is edited down from a couple of hours of footage, and that all the bystanders that answer these questions correctly are removed, it is pretty easy to find this segment simultaneously humorous and horrifying. Some of the topics that people have absolutely no idea about are so important to us as a republic that there is almost a fear that you are watching something important in our collective consciousness eroding away.
As we see spiritual trivialities replace important Scriptural knowledge and principles, I am deathly afraid sometimes that this same erosion it is happening in the Church as well. We need to be more intentional about cultivating our Biblical literacy. This is why I am excited about the Exploring the Old and New Testament Collection which is in Pre-Publication right now. Here are six fantastic volumes that, together, operate as a university level Old and New Testament survey. Or if you prefer, you can also purchase the two-volume Exploring the New Testament Collection or the four-volume survey Exploring the Old Testament Collectionseparately. Every volume is written by professors with backgrounds in teaching biblical truths to students. Moreover, they are written to be read for your personal edification or to be used as an aid to teach the material to your class or small group.
To be able to handle Scripture effectively and with any fidelity it needs to be understood on a macro level before you begin to dissect it. Biblical surveys are a fantastic way to help you get a firm handle on the panorama of Scripture. From that panoramic view you can then focus in more and more and really gain an understanding as to how smaller portions of Scripture illuminate the whole. It is the desire of most of us at Logos to be able to equip everyone with the tools needed to ensure that rightly dividing the Word of truth isn’t something that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…